There has been a lot of talk in recent years about the whitewashing of the Oscars. The number of categories that Black actors, producers or film-makers even get nominated in is small to insignificant, and the awards that are won by Black people are so few that we can actually still count them. This is amazing considering the fact that the Academy Awards is in its 88th year. Add that to the types of roles we win for and well…
This year, however, the dearth of Black names on the nominations is so flagrant that the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite started to trend with a vengeance.
Chris Rock is the host this year and given the feelings on Michael B. Jordan missing out on a nomination for his awesome performance in Creed (remember him? With his whole generation of boos?? <3 ), and the fact that the only people nominated for Straight Outta Compton were the white screen writers, the black voices are being raised asking that the Oscars be boycotted this year until there is more inclusion.
Don Cheadle made a tweet referring to acting according to stereotype:
— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) January 17, 2016
While Jada Pinkett Smith released a short video on her Facebook page on her feelings on the matter:
According to USA Today, Straight Outta Compton producer Will Packer was similarly outraged, following the N.W.A biopic’s sole nomination for best original screenplay (written by Jonathan Herman and Andrea Berloff, who are both white). Packer wrote about the issue at length on Facebook Friday, calling the whole situation “embarrassing” and pleading for more diversity behind the camera as well.
There are some Black people who do not agree; who feel that the Oscars is indeed systemically racist, but feel this is because it is organised and funded by white people and white wallets and the only way to deal with this issue is to set up an awards show that will elevate and celebrate the Black community. If this can be done remains to be seen.
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